The debate over whether college athletes should be paid has become decidedly more heated in the past few months, and now the "pay them" side has an extremely prominent supporter in Adrian Peterson.
In an interview with Fox Sports on Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings running back talked about the idea of student-athletes getting a piece of the university's pie:
The universities are making a lot of money off of student athletes in general. So, yeah, he should be able to make money. I think so. They make millions off of these college athletes and they made millions off of the guys I played with as well. Yeah, he should be getting paid.
The man who has brought this large-scale debate to an entirely new level, of course, is reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
He hasn't publicly addressed the issue, but the Texas A&M sophomore quarterback is currently in hot water for allegedly taking money for his autograph.
If he is found guilty of doing so, he could very well lose his amateur status and be forced to end his football career with the Aggies, something Peterson doesn't believe is right:
I think if you are in a position to where people want to pay you for your autographs or signatures, then you should be able to do that. He’s a young man and he should be able to sign his name on a helmet or wherever without it being an issue.
Another prominent figure in support of Manziel and student-athletes everywhere is former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon, who is currently suing the NCAA, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company for profiting off college athletes' likenesses in their products.
This is undoubtedly an intriguing debate.
There are some who point to the millions upon millions of dollars in additional revenue generated by sporting events and demand that players are compensated justly.
There are others, however, who will argue that compensation in the form of full scholarships is enough, and paying student-athletes will ruin purity amateur athletics forever.
It's not a debate that is going to be agreed upon anytime soon, but getting input from well-respected professional stars like Peterson will certainly get people talking.
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